Singapore Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To by ubp29826

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									                                                    U.S. Department of Justice


                                                    United States Attorney
                                                    District of Maryland


Rod J. Rosenstein                                   36 S. Charles Street                          410-209-4800
United States Attorney                              Fourth Floor                        TTY/TDD:410-962-4462
                                                    Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2692                410-209-4885
Vickie E. LeDuc                                                                               FAX 410-962-3091
Public Information Officer                                                              Vickie.LeDuc@usdoj.gov


April 5, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       CONTACT AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md                MARCIA MURPHY at (410) 209-4885

          SINGAPORE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO
  PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO A FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION
                     AND MONEY LAUNDERING

 Aided Tamil Tiger Terrorists in the Attempted Purchase of Surface to Air Missiles, Night Vision
                     Devices, Machine Guns and State of the Art Firearms

     Baltimore, Maryland - Haniffa Bin Osman, age 55, a citizen of the Republic of Singapore,
pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist
organization and money laundering, announced United States Attorney for the District of
Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

        United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Osman is the third defendant to plead
guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization,
and three defendants have pleaded guilty to attempting to illegally export arms. We will use all
available legal tools to prevent terrorism, including undercover operations targeting people who
attempt to obtain military weapons in violation of American law."

       “Keeping sophisticated U.S. weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists has never
been more important,” said James A. Dinkins, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Baltimore. “This three-year undercover investigation conducted
by ICE, in collaboration with the our federal and local law enforcement partners, highlights the
reach and impact of international arms trafficking. As this case demonstrates, ICE has no
tolerance for international arms brokers looking to equip terrorist organizations with advanced
American weaponry.”

        Special Agent in Charge (SAC) William D. Chase, of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, Baltimore Field Office, said "The disruption of the supply chain of this
organization should reassure the public that the U.S. Government is committed to dismantling
terrorist groups worldwide. The FBI will continue to work to prevent any person from using the
United States to raise funds or procure arms to commit acts of terrorism."

        Dan Willkens, Director, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), stated,
"Combating terrorism is a priority of the DCIS and of the Department of Defense. Today's plea
demonstrates DCIS' commitment to ensuring that weapons and critical technologies do not fall
into the hands of terrorists or those who would do us harm. DCIS will continue to work in
partnership with all law enforcement agencies to combat this threat."
        According to the plea agreement, from April to September 29, 2006 Osman conspired
with Haji Subandi and Erick Wotulo to provide state-of-the-art firearms, machine guns and
ammunition, surface to air missiles, night vision goggles and other military weapons to the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) operating within Sri Lanka, to be used to fight
against Sri Lankan government forces. The conspirators contacted an undercover business in
Maryland about the sale of military weapons, requesting price quotes and negotiating the
purchases. Subandi sent an itemized list of 53 military weapons, including sniper rifles, machine
guns and grenade launchers that he wanted to acquire for the Tamil Tigers. Subandi advised the
undercover business that Osman would inspect the weapons for the Tamil Tigers. Wotulo also
advised that the chief of Tamil Tigers requested that he and Osman travel to Baltimore to meet
with the undercover agents.

      In July 2006, Osman met with undercover agents in Baltimore and stated that the
weapons were for the Tamil Tigers from Sri Lanka. Osman said that he was not a Tamil Tigers
member but was helping them obtain weapons. The agents showed Osman a number of
weapons, ammunition and night vision devices.

        While in Baltimore, Osman discussed the illegality of the transfer of the arms to the
Tamil Tigers and provided navigational coordinates for a delivery in the Indian Ocean. Osman
stated that if the first transfer of the weapons were successful, the second order could be worth as
much as $15 million. Osman also inquired about pricing for unmanned aerial vehicles, and test-
fired several weapons, including machine guns and sniper rifles. Osman discussed the
commission he would receive for the arms sale. He also raised the possibility that members of
the Sea Tigers, the Marine Unit of the Tamil Tigers, would also escort the weapons to their final
destination.

         On August 1, 2006, Osman told the undercover agents that the Tamil Tigers wired a
deposit of $250,000 as a down payment for the purchase of the weapons. Indeed, the next day
$250,000 was wired from Malaysia to an undercover bank account in Maryland. Later that
month Osman requested that the undercover business provide photographs and technical
specifications for surface to air missiles.

     Osman arrived in Guam on September 26, 2006 and inspected various machine guns, sniper
rifles and ammunition. He also inspected two surface to air missiles and agreed to communicate
with others within the Tamil Tigers about the availability and pricing of the missiles. After the
inspection was completed, Osman agreed to arrange for the transfer of additional monies into an
undercover bank account in Maryland as further payment for the arms and munitions. On
September 28 an additional $452,000 was wired from Malaysia to the undercover account in
Maryland as a further down payment on the $900,000 worth of weapons ordered by the Tamil
Tigers.

    On September 29, 2006, Wotulo arrived in Guam and met with Osman and undercover
agents to discuss the ship-board loading of the arms and munitions. They also discussed current
and future sales of weapons to the Tamil Tigers with undercover agents. They were then
arrested.
    Osman faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material

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support to a foreign terrorist organization and 20 years in prison for money laundering. U.S.
District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled Osman’s sentencing for June 25, 2007 at 9:15
a.m.

    Subandi, age 70, a citizen of the Republic of Indonesia, pleaded guilty on March 8, 2007 and
faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a
foreign terrorist organization; 20 years in prison for each of two counts of money laundering;
and 10 years in prison for attempted exportation of arms and munitions. U.S. District Judge
Catherine C. Blake has scheduled Subandi’s sentencing for June 15, 2007 at 10:30 a.m.

    Wotulo, age 60, a citizen of the Republic of Indonesia, and a retired Indonesian Marine
Corps General, pleaded guilty on February 23, 2007 to conspiracy to provide material support to
a designated foreign terrorist organization and money laundering. He faces a maximum sentence
of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support and a maximum sentence of 20
years in prison for money laundering. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled
Wotulo’s sentencing for May 25, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.

    Reinhard Rusli, age 34, and Helmi Soedirdja, age 33, both citizens of Indonesia, pleaded
guilty to attempting to illegally export arms and money laundering on January 30, 2007. They
face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and
a $500,000 fine for money laundering and 10 years in prison, followed by three years of
supervised release and a $1,000,000 fine for attempted exportation of arms. U.S. District Judge
Catherine C. Blake has scheduled their sentencing for April 27, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.

   Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, age 36, a citizen of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri
Lanka is scheduled to go to trial on May 14, 2007, on charges of conspiracy to export arms;
conspiracy to provide support to a foreign terrorist organization; money laundering; attempted
export of weapons; and possession of firearms in relation to a crime of violence.

     Founded in 1976, the Tamil Tigers has advocated the violent overthrow of the Sri Lankan
government, employing acts of violence, including suicide bombings, against both civilian and
military targets. Approximately 200 such attacks have been attributed to the Tamil Tigers to
date. The Tamil Tigers relies heavily upon supporters throughout the world to raise and launder
money, acquire intelligence and purchase military use technology. The U.S. Department of State
designated the Tamil Tigers as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in1997. As such, the Tamil
Tigers cannot legally raise money or procure operational equipment in the United States.

       United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Baltimore City Police Department. Mr. Rosenstein
thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Maryland James G. Warwick, and Harry M.
Gruber, who are prosecuting the case; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey Eisenberg, Chief of
National Security, who is supervising the case.




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